Wednesday, 18 August 2010


In the days before the Mirkwood expansion, if you tried to swim across the Anduin from the western shore in Lothlórien, you could usually get to about a hundred meters or so from the eastern shore before a Felarrow orcish archer one-shotted you: "Aaargh! Glug!"... Some us would try and sneak past them, and a few players actually managed to set foot on the forbidden shore long before they were supposed to. Come the expansion, of course, those cany elves set up a water-taxi to get us across, and the Felarrows were redeployed  in North Mirkwood.

A couple of days ago, feeling the need for some cooling exercise, I set of on a leisurely swim across the Anduin from the point on the western shore where the abandoned boat has been pulled up the bank. Imagine my surprise when, about halfway across, I suddenly and unconditionally died: "Aaargh! Glug!", and not a Felarrow in sight. Instant death by game designer fiat, and no option to withdraw. What the hell? I was swimming from friendly territory to recently reconquered (and fully explored) territory. Why the bolt from heaven? And if for some reason you musn't now swim across the Anduin at a point where you were once perfectly able to do so, what's wrong with a good old invisible wall, or a sudden rapid?

Personally, I suspect old-fashioned protectionism; this is clearly a move to restrict lawful trade and protect the Lothlórien river-crossing monopoly. Will the IMF please investigate?

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